Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 7/15/14

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Hello there, friends

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Hello there, friends of friends

9:04
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s chat baseball. I chat at a slower rate than Dave does for a variety of reasons. Don’t ask me fantasy baseball questions because I don’t know how to answer them. You know, the usual stuff

9:05
Comment From Peter B
Thoughts on Aiken and the Astros?

9:06
Jeff Sullivan: From the outsider perspective, it’s easy to say, oh, they’re just trying to make the numbers work, and they found something of a medical facilitation. But while I don’t know the severity of what Aiken might be dealing with, it sure seems like he isn’t really hurt, so I understand why people are upset

9:07
Jeff Sullivan: I think it was Olney who was talking about what Aiken might get paid as a free agent. Which is interesting, but also unhelpful since all high draft picks would get bank as free agents

9:08
Comment From Jack
Will Vogt be in batting order almost 100% of the time against RHP? Will he have a .340+ OBP ROS?

9:08
Jeff Sullivan: When I watch Stephen Vogt hit I’m reminded of watching John Jaso hit

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: Credit to the A’s for having two of them. Vogt is benefiting right now from some injury situations on the roster, but absolutely, he’s going to keep playing a lot as long as he keeps hitting a lot, and he’s a real on-base threat. He’s going to do well in a platoon role

9:09
Comment From jocephus
so maddux is basically todd packer – http://totalfratmove.com/ac…

9:09
Jeff Sullivan: I think this has been bandied about for a while

9:10
Jeff Sullivan: Greg Maddux is kind of disgusting. I’ve heard Brian Giles was also pretty disgusting in his own way

9:10
Comment From zurzles
the mets should still be sellers despite their recent success, but will they be?

9:11
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, they’ll sell bits. They don’t want to go overboard because 2015 could be successful, but there are players they can move without shooting their own future in the foot

9:11
Comment From Vliet
What’s wrong with Anibal Sanchez?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: After completing a few minutes of research, I think he’s less broken than his numbers might indicate, but he hasn’t quite had his swing-and-miss changeup or slider and his contact rate is up ten percentage points. Most of what you want to be there is still there, but without the results I’d say it’s worth worrying a bit about his slipping strikeout rate

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t see evidence of injury, but then injuries don’t always conveniently reveal themselves in the data we can look at

9:15
Comment From atoms
Do the A’s have another trade in them to address the 2nd base hole, or are they done?

9:15
Jeff Sullivan: They’re not done trying, but anything they do at 2B won’t be much of a splash

9:16
Comment From Francis
Has any team had more rotation health than the Nationals since the beginning of 2013? Unless I’m missing something, they lost a month of Haren last year and a month of Gonzalez this year, and have otherwise avoided any multistart injuries.

9:16
Jeff Sullivan: Doug Fister missed time this year

9:17
Jeff Sullivan: The Tigers have been extremely healthy, at least in terms of making their starts

9:18
Comment From Guest
Jayson Werth has been worth 4 BsR, which is 12th in MLB. he’s always been an outstanding baserunner, if not the fastest guy, but I feel like that doesn’t get mentioned often with him.

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: Probably because it’s been worth about 3 wins for him over more than a decade

9:18
Jeff Sullivan: That’s not intended to be dismissive — baserunning is often just such a minor thing, and Werth does so many other things well

9:19
Comment From Eric
The lack of baseball on the schedule is forcing me to confront my current unhappiness. This is displeasing and I eagerly await the return of a full slate of games.

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Go to the woods!

9:19
Comment From joe
did the home run derby ever not suck?

9:19
Jeff Sullivan: Not in my lifetime, but that’s a personal perspective. Obviously, there are people who love it; it just tends not to be the young(ish) internet

9:19
Comment From Jon
Is Ruggiano a fit for the Mariners?

9:20
Jeff Sullivan: I haven’t checked to see if he died this morning, but assuming he’s very much not dead, yeah

9:21
Comment From Bret
What are the names of players that the Jays should acquire?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: Dr. Health?

9:22
Jeff Sullivan: These overlapping injuries aren’t helping matters one bit, and it’s clouding the picture of how they ought to proceed. They can be a player for Hamels, and there aren’t markedly bigger upgrades out there than him

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: They also seem like one of those teams who could use a guy like Luis Valbuena, assuming they dont’ end up with Ben Zobrist

9:24
Comment From Jesus
Hey Jeff, do u think the BoSox should give up on ’14, trade whatever they can and play the youth?

9:24
Jeff Sullivan: I think they should trade the short-term veterans and give it another go in 2015. Hell, they could conceivably keep trying for 2014 even after selling off a few older players since it’s not like they’re making huge awesome contributions

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: The Red Sox are down but they’re positioned well to bounce back in a hurry

9:25
Comment From Rated Rookie
Do you think Danny Salazar starts for Columbus on Thursday or Cleveland on Saturday? Expect lots of Ks, lots of BBs?

9:25
Jeff Sullivan: McAllister is coming up

9:26
Jeff Sullivan: But Salazar shouldn’t be too far behind, and Indians people think he’s gotten over most of his issues that were plaguing him earlier on

9:27
Comment From daniel
What return can the Mets expect to get for Bartolo Colon (who has 1.5 years remaining)?

9:28
Jeff Sullivan: Something highlighted by a second-tier prospect. The market has demonstrated that it’s fairly skeptical of Colon, but there are so many teams looking for a starting pitcher and with lower guys like Hammel and McCarthy gone…

9:29
Comment From Travis
Will Jorge Soler be brought up this September to get extra ABs?

9:29
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think so, but let’s see if he keeps slugging .900 in Double-A

9:30
Comment From Joe
How would you handle the Andrus, Profar, Odor, Saldinas conundrum?

9:32
Jeff Sullivan: Sardinas doesn’t really complicate things yet — he has to perform at a high level first. Odor hasn’t even proven *that* much and Profar is very much still a mystery so this could be a lot more involved than it actually is. If I were Texas I’d let it be known I’m willing to move Andrus in the winter, and maybe that gets some bites. Otherwise I’d assume three of the four players could conceivably return to the minors, and I wouldn’t be married to holding on to any individual one

9:32
Comment From Big Willie Style
Who would win in a HR Derby: Cesepedes or Gallo?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Gallo would probably win against Derby pitchers, Cespedes would easily win against good pitchers

9:33
Comment From Sirras One
Do you think that Stanton could hit a homer out of the park (not just a homer, literally out of the stadium) given home run derby-style pitching and a clear night (last night was raining)?

9:33
Jeff Sullivan: Which park are we talking about? Are we talking about Target?

9:34
Comment From Rated Rookie
What is Mookie Betts’s path to regular playing time in Boston?

9:34
Jeff Sullivan: Bradley getting demoted

9:35
Comment From Evan Longoria
After averaging 30 HR over the last 5 years, I’ve had a baby, gotten engaged to a playmate and lost all of my power. Is my fiance a succubus draining my life force from me, or is there something mechanically wrong?!

9:35
9:36
Jeff Sullivan: Someone suggested a little while back that Longoria was finally turning things around, but he hasn’t done crap in July so while you still bet on the established superstar, this isn’t resolved just yet

9:37
Jeff Sullivan: I’ll say this though:

9:38
Jeff Sullivan: When I wrote that article, Longoria had homered on just one inside pitch. He’s since homered against three more, so maybe he really is beginning to normalize

9:40
Comment From Guest
Having a hard time figuring out how the Nats upgrade their team at the trade deadline, any ideas?

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Role players? The healthy Nationals are basically set

9:40
9:40
Jeff Sullivan: We have them projected to have the best record in baseball between now and the end of the season

9:40
Jeff Sullivan: Some of that is schedule, but a lot of that is the appearance of great talent

9:41
Comment From Orsulakfan
Is Chris Davis broken? How do you see his 2nd half? The Orioles will need production from somewhere to offset a likely regression from Cruz.

9:41
Jeff Sullivan: Well, the easiest way to put this: Chris Davis is below career averages. Nelson Cruz is above career averages. Just as one would expect Cruz to get worse, one would expect Davis to get better

9:42
Jeff Sullivan: So there’s your offset. I’ve looked into Davis a few times before and I haven’t found anything dramatic — I figure this is just an over-correction, and he should be productive for the duration from now on

9:43
Comment From Maddie
Y. Ventura out of the bullpen. What’s that all about?

9:43
Jeff Sullivan: Just getting him some action before the All-Star Break

9:44
Comment From Up the middle
What do the Yankees do at 2B and SS next year?

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: Suck

9:44
Jeff Sullivan: More realistically, they could give a shot to Rob Refsnyder. They could also end up in the mix for, say, J.J. Hardy, or a younger sort like Nick Franklin

9:45
Jeff Sullivan: Or, let’s say the Rangers really want out from under Elvis Andrus! There could be a match. The Yankees will have options; the Yankees always have options

9:45
Comment From Big Willie Style
How do you project Joey Gallo as a Major League hitter? Do you think the K% ever dips below 20%? Does he stick @ 3B long term or does he shift to 1B or DH?

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: Below 20%? No, that’s never getting below 20%. I’m not sure it’s ever getting below 30%

9:46
Jeff Sullivan: He’s struck out 42% of the time so far in Double-A. With, of course, extreme and obscene power, so it’s not like Gallo has struggled in between the strikeouts, but can we just call him Chris Davis turned up to 11?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: It’s a difficult thing to find a comp for him because there haven’t really been players like him, but Davis is too obvious to leave out of the conversation

9:47
Comment From Pat
Here’s an obvious one. Who are your favorite ROS targets?

9:47
Jeff Sullivan: Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw

9:48
Comment From Evan Longoria
The Rays let Stephen Vogt and John Jaso both walk.

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: Vogt got away as a 27-year-old mediocre catcher/outfielder who didn’t exactly clobber the ball in the high minors

9:48
Jeff Sullivan: It looks bad now, and it’s still weird they let Jaso go for so little, but it’s not like these guys were obvious bets to turn into such helpful players

9:48
Comment From Guest
How do you see the Cubs lineup shaking out, assuming all of their prospects make it to the big league team in the next 1-2 years. It would seem that somebody will be traded.

9:49
Jeff Sullivan: There are so many ways for them to move around the field that I think there’s space for just about everybody. And — thankfully! — not everybody will actually be a good big-league ballplayer. No urgency there, in my mind

9:49
Comment From Hrkac Circus
Do they A’s have pieces to get a decent MI, or is this the team they’re trying to win with this year? (obviously it’s been working so far)

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: They could still swing a deal for a middle infielder, because they’re not literally out of long-term assets, but if this is the team they go forward with, well, this is probably the best team in baseball, soooo…

9:50
Comment From Jake
talent, how do you let Vogt & Jaso leave? Is a Ryan Hanigan/Jose Molina tandem really that much of a defensive upgrade?

9:50
Jeff Sullivan: In the Rays’ minds, obviously, yeah. Remember that Jaso was coming off a lousy year too and no one believes he’s much of a defensive backstop

9:51
Comment From Matthew
Is swinging to protect a runner “wasting a strike” in the same vein that bunting is “wasting an out?” Has the swing been shown to actually increase stolen base success rates?

9:51
Jeff Sullivan: Not to my knowledge, but I don’t know that we have the sample size to properly investigate this

9:52
Jeff Sullivan: Especially since we’d be comparing them against regular stolen-base attempts, and there’s a difference between an SB attempt and an SB attempt during which the hitter thinks about swinging. There’s so much going on!

9:53
Comment From Kevin
Why shouldn’t the Cubs just ditch Barney and go with Alcantara at second?

9:53
Jeff Sullivan: They very well might do that soon

9:54
Jeff Sullivan: Barney’s one of those interesting trade options, but he’s got a career wRC+ of 66. Feels Brendan Ryan-y

9:55
Comment From Guest
The Jays are in a tough spot. Are Sanchez, Pompey and Norris that good that the Jays shouldn’t consider moving them for something awesome (e.g. Price).

9:56
Jeff Sullivan: I think they are very much considering that, for a guy like Price or for a guy like Hamels. But the Jays are also interested in building more of a sustainable winner and they might not feel right about shrinking their own window. Their preference seems to be spreading things around more with two or three second-tier moves. Me, I’ve noted before that I don’t get too committed to prospects like Sanchez, but the Jays see something different

9:57
Comment From Brad Pennys Grand Slam
If the NL and AL All-Star Teams replaced the Blue Jays and the Os in the AL east and played 162 game schedule (assume we can clone players so there are duplicates on the teams i.e. Kershaw Pitches for both the NL all-stars and the Dodgers)how would each team do? could they win 140 games? which Team would have the better season?

9:57
Jeff Sullivan: Don’t know which team would be better, but absolutely not, they wouldn’t come close to 140 wins, in part because they’d also have to play against each other

9:58
Jeff Sullivan: They’d play each other 19 times. Call that more or less a split and you’re already starting with nine or ten losses

9:59
Jeff Sullivan: I could maybe see win totals between 110 – 120

9:59
Comment From Jon Daniels
Who should I trade before the deadline?

10:00
Jeff Sullivan: Is there anybody left?

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: I’d move Rios for what I could find

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: I’d hang on to Beltre. There’s just not a lot there

10:01
Jeff Sullivan: Soria, I’d move if I could scare up value, because I think he’s non-essential even if 2015 is to be a competitive season

10:02
Comment From Jon
Do you remember who was on your team the last time that you played fantasy?

10:02
Jeff Sullivan: The bad, late version of Roberto Alomar

10:03
Comment From Fred
In 1889, the number of called balls for a walk reduced from 5 to 4. I often think that the rules of baseball are designed very well to balance the game. How different do you think the game would look if a batter still needed 5 balls to walk today? How different do you think typical hitter profile would be? There would be fewer Adam Dunns I’d imagine.

10:03
Jeff Sullivan: More offspeed pitches, which means more breaking balls, which means more injuries!

10:04
Jeff Sullivan: You’d probably have a greater speed element. It’s…a fun thing to imagine, but it goes so deep that I can’t just sit here and picture that version of baseball during a live chat, because I’ll lose myself for hours

10:05
Comment From Jon
are you buying jake arrieta as late-blooming legit ace?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: I think he’s more like a No. 2, but yeah, I think he’s gotten quite a bit better

10:05
Comment From Terrible Ted
I found some ash from Mount St. Helens (1980) while cleaning out my parents house. Would you like it?

10:05
Jeff Sullivan: already got some!

10:07
Comment From GSon
Recently, Chris Cotillo picked up a story from some time ago (written by Terry Pluto, CLE Plain Dealer) about a David Price for Carlos Santana & Danny Salazar trade.. Just recently, Cotillo has suggested a deal could be in the works and Indians scouts are focusing on Rays prospects. I call BS.. what do you call?

10:08
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t really question Cotillo’s sourcing because he’s proven himself and it’s not like I’m any kind of insider. I’m virtually certain the two sides have talked, probably at length. I’m sure the Rays have given the Indians some idea of what it would take, and I’m sure the two sides have scouted one another to better inform themselves of the other guys’ available assets

10:09
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it’s the most likely outcome, but the Indians might be the best true-talent team in the running for the second wild card, so Pric would be a big boost, and then they could flip him somewhere else in November or December to recover long-term pieces they might prefer to Santana and Salazar

10:09
Comment From Prich
Ms DH situation is a disaster… If YOU were running them this trade season, would you A) Target a DH, B) Go for a couple position players and go DH-by-committee, C) Ride it out with Hart?

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: first order of business is trading for Marlon Byrd

10:10
Jeff Sullivan: it’s almost too obvious

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: I’d trade for Byrd, I’d try to trade for a starting pitcher, and then I’d stay internal for whatever else. If all else fails, Ji-Man Choi might be a late-season DH option

10:11
Comment From PeteR
What kind of pieces do the Tigers even have to make a deadline deal? Would they have to include Castellanos to get much of anything in return?

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: It doesn’t take a lot to get the kind of players the Tigers are said to be looking at

10:11
Jeff Sullivan: and even the most barren systems have young toolsy players of interest

10:12
Comment From Big Willie Style
What going on with Jean Segura’s basestealing? Seems like his success rate has plummented from last year.

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: On the plus side, his overall baserunning value is up

10:12
Jeff Sullivan: might be the only thing that’s up

10:13
Jeff Sullivan: it’s worth noting that Segura is currently dealing with an awful family tragedy, and I’ve no idea how long this might have been weighing on him

10:14
Comment From Matt
David Price for Javier Baez, who says no? It would solve the glut of talent for the Cubs, give them a pitching talent that would like to go there, and provides a crazy ceiling high risk player for the Rays.

10:14
Jeff Sullivan: I think the Cubs. What’s the incentive to deal from the future for short-term improvement? They could in theory extend Price, but they could in theory just sign Price as a free agent, too

10:16
Comment From Pau
Thoughts on deGrom?

10:16
Jeff Sullivan: Interesting enough. Capable big-league starter. Nothing outstanding but he would fit in most rotations

10:17
Comment From Kinbote
Is it just a “funny thing” that great pitchers are going down with injuries but league-wide offense is falling?

10:17
Jeff Sullivan: Relative to the average, not that many extra impact pitchers have gotten hurt, and the league is really huge, with a lot of players in it

10:18
Jeff Sullivan: For the record, league wOBAs since 2011: .321, .320, .318, .317. A drop, but a very slight one

10:18
Comment From Jake
Who’s the top free agent of 2015?

10:19
Jeff Sullivan: At this point, looks like Max Scherzer

10:20
Comment From Guest
What gets Byrd to the M’s if not Franklin? Is Erasmo an overpay?

10:20
Jeff Sullivan: Erasmo might be right. Franklin seems steep, despite his lower value

10:21
Comment From Theo
Say something nice about Arismendy Alcantara

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: He’s very talented!

10:21
Comment From Wally Pipp
Does Zobrist get moved at the deadline? Would TB trade within the division?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: I think so, and yes, although apparently at something of a premium

10:21
Comment From kris
Tai Walker scheduled to make another start in AAA. He still going to be back up soon?

10:21
Jeff Sullivan: Lloyd McClendon wasn’t impressed by his latest effort in Triple-A. Walker is next in line, but the team is active within the market and James Paxton is also on the way back, in theory

10:22
Comment From The Ghost of Ryan Anderson
What are your thoughts on the mainstream obsession with what players/teams have done with RISP, and what that says about those players/teams offensive abilities overall?

10:22
Jeff Sullivan: I get why people care about it so much, but the goal should be to emphasize the importance of generating RISP situations in the first place

10:22
Comment From Guest
Are the Mariners likely to give up on Smoak and Ackley?

10:23
Jeff Sullivan: Wouldn’t surprise me to see Ackley back in the minors very shortly. Smoak’s only up now because Saunders got hurt. They’re very slowly starting to turn the page

10:23
Comment From J. Peterman
I don’t debate that the Mets are better off long term being sellers this year, but for a team plagued by disappointment in recent (and less recent) years, can’t something be said for making a modest effort to stay in the race until the end when they’re still relevant at the all-star break?

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: They’re 45-50 and seven games out of both the division and the Wild Card. They’re not in the race

10:24
Jeff Sullivan: We have their playoff odds at 2%

10:25
Comment From houzer
okay- who hangs up first. Castellanos and Suarez for Everth Cabrera and Chase Headley?

10:25
Jeff Sullivan: Tigers

10:26
Comment From Mike
Thoughts on the Mariners’ reported interest in Billy Butler? I know the Royals are pretty down on him, but would they really risk having his bat wake up while playing for another contender for the 2nd WC?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Nothing’s happened yet. The Mariners are just inquiring about everybody they can inquire about

10:27
Comment From Mike Trouts Neck
Is there any correlation between neck size and ISO?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Probably some

10:27
Comment From Theo
Is trading Ruggiano or Valbuena even worth it value-wise for the Cubs?

10:27
Jeff Sullivan: Can’t answer that yet. But given that the A’s wanted Valbuena and couldn’t work anything out (yet), it’s implied that the Cubs aren’t just going to give these guys away, nor should they

10:29
Comment From houzer
What size contract do you think Markakis gets in the off-season? and is with the O’s?

10:29
Jeff Sullivan: I could see a three-year contract or something that rewards Markakis for his bounceback, but it’s not going to be an enormous pile of money. The O’s would be the favorites out of the pool of suitors, but I’d bet on the pool over the O’s

10:30
Comment From Gabriel
Is Michael Saunders injury prone ot just having bad luck? Can he be counted long term for the Mariners?

10:30
Jeff Sullivan: He’s not the most durable player in the world, but he’s not Chris Snelling. I think he can be counted on as a longer-term 3rd/4th OF

10:31
Comment From The Ghost of Ryan Anderson
What do you think ends up happening to Alfonso Soriano?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: he gets picked up by someone and sucks over limited playing time

10:31
Comment From Jake
Longoria can’t really be a 109 WRC+ player can he?

10:31
Jeff Sullivan: He’s better than this

10:32
Comment From Ichiro
Can I reach 3,000 hits in the MLB?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: You can, but you’ll probably fall just short

10:32
Comment From Birdbrains
I’m making a trip to Seattle next month. What the heck else am I supposed to do whilst there?

10:32
Jeff Sullivan: visit the market, go to Mt Rainier, and walk. walk a lot

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: eat, drink, and be merry

10:33
Comment From J. Peterman
Has Clay Buchholz fixed himself?

10:33
Jeff Sullivan: let’s not make too much of dominating the Astros, but he is better than his numbers looked earlier this season

10:35
Comment From AC
Any read on what the Astros are thinking letting Keuchel pitch through his wrist issue? He’s sure not throwing his slider at the same clip lately (with results to match).

10:36
Jeff Sullivan: Before getting hurt, Keuchel had consecutive mediocre starts, with lots of sliders. Since getting hurt, he’s had consecutive mediocre starts, with fewer sliders

10:37
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s pretty apparent there’s still some tenderness there, but teams try not to be too hasty with the DL and Keuchel and the training staff probably feel like this can be pitched through without making things worse. If Keuchel really starts to feel irritation, then he’ll be rested a short while, but players don’t like to miss time so the Astros are letting Keuchel get his turns

10:38
Jeff Sullivan: having the All-Star break here is convenient

10:38
Comment From Alex
If the Angels can only get one, who helps more between Street and Kennedy?

10:40
Jeff Sullivan: It might actually be Street — if you figure Weaver and Wilson are staying put, then Richards is real good, and Shoemaker seems good, and Skaggs is pretty good, too. Kennedy would be only a slight improvement barring injury, whereas Street could give that bullpen another high-leverage lockdown

10:41
Comment From Jack Z
How about Drew Stubbs as an option for the M’s? He’s only 30, crushes lefties, can still run well, and the Rockies have a surplus of OFs. I’d like your permission to make this happen.

10:41
Jeff Sullivan: Who’s going to hit righties?

10:42
Jeff Sullivan: Stubbs makes some sense as a platoon guy, but he’s not exactly cheap.

10:43
Comment From Prich
All things considered, would you rather have the package the As received, or, Price/Zobrist for Russell/McKinney/Straily/+ a B prospect?

10:43
Jeff Sullivan: the former

10:44
Comment From Derek
Should it be a similar approach for the Rangers as for the Red Sox, to sell the short-term veterans and aim for a bounce back with health in 2015?

10:44
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, although I think the Red Sox are in better overall organizational shape, and they’re not contending with the A’s and the Angels too

10:45
Comment From Nathan
So the Reds are having major issues, with all sorts of things. Do they match for Gordon beckham or anyone else? They can’t just stand pat, right?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Well Gordon Beckham isn’t good, so I’m sure they could get him if they wanted

10:45
Comment From jon
What can we expect from Joe Kelly, ROS?

10:45
Jeff Sullivan: Sinkers

10:46
Comment From Ron
How much a factor is service time in the Mariners keeping Walker down. If he says down until around August 1st the Mariners control him for a year longer. Do you think this is a factor?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: No, they don’t really work like that. Walker’s down there because the Mariners are somewhat displeased with him

10:46
Comment From Bobby
Is drafting pitchers with the first couple picks getting too risky? I’m thinking of Astro’s taking Appel last year and now Aiken.

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: It’s always a huge risk, but these things are evaluated on a case-by-case basis

10:46
Comment From Spencer
Do you think the Cubs will try to work all of their shortstops into their plans by having some change positions, or do you think they’d more likely trade one?

10:46
Jeff Sullivan: Lots of position changes coming

10:46
Comment From Alex Guerreros Ear
What do you think of when you think of “Aaron Harang” ?

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: his face

10:47
Comment From Breezy
Chris Young is the ideal pitcher against Mike Trout. That’s fun.

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: Had the same thought the other day. I’d like to watch a few at-bats of that. And I’ll be able to!

10:47
Comment From Derek
How so? Cespedes hasn’t hit a HR in 84 ABs entering the All-Star game. Gallo has crushed good pitching at every level.

10:47
Jeff Sullivan: I must’ve missed the part where Joey Gallo has faced major-league pitchers and not Single-A and Double-A pitchers

10:48
Comment From hickey
How about this? In a 7 game playoff series, Team A starts with their #3 pitcher vs Team B’s #1. Team A is at a disadvantage in game 1, but then they get to start their #1 vs Team B’s #2, and their #2 vs B’s #3. Is Team A’s game 2 and 3 advantage worth their disadvantage in game 1, and the disadvantage of potentially getting 1 fewer game out of their #1?

10:48
Jeff Sullivan: nope

10:49
Comment From Dave
How do you see the Cubs lineup shaking out in the next 1-2 years? It seems that between Russell, Castro, Alcantara, Bryant, Baez,Castro, Soler that one of them would be traded.

10:49
Jeff Sullivan: I have the same outlook as everybody else: Baez probably isn’t a shortstop. Russell or Castro could easily move to third, and Bryant has been talked up as a future outfielder. It’ll work out.

10:50
Comment From Ryan
Travis Wood, what gives? He’s gone from useful and mildly interesting to useless seemingly overnight.

10:50
Jeff Sullivan: At this point he’s basically on his career numbers

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t know exactly what he was doing in April, but inconsistent starting pitchers are inconsistent starting pitchers.

10:51
Comment From Guest
Why would the Red Sox demote JBJr?

10:51
Jeff Sullivan: Because he’s been struggling to produce for over 400 big-league plate appearances

10:52
Comment From A. Lane
With the splits available at fangraphs, is there a way to approximate “weak contact”, a high percentage of groundballs to the pull side, a lot fly balls the other way, relative to what the hitter has done prior?

10:52
Jeff Sullivan: Not easily — it gets pretty involved. sorry 🙁

10:52
Comment From Theo
Will Kris Bryant make enough contact to be a superstar?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: You should pretty much always bet against guys turning into genuine superstars, but Bryant ought to be real good

10:53
Comment From Alex Guerreros Ear
How much would you pay to watch a 100-yard dash featuring Jesus Montero, Kendrys Morales, Bartolo Colon and Prince Fielder?

10:53
Jeff Sullivan: I’d pay more to watch a marathon

10:54
Comment From Decatur
I know it’s silly, but I can’t help but feel frustrated when I look at the FanGraphs leaderboards and see FOUR guys in the top 20 for WAR (Mike Trout, Troy Tulowitzki, Anthony Rendon, and Adam Jones) who the Mariners either traded for Erik Bedard (Jones) or who, as per credible media reports, they came extremely close to drafting (Trout’s dad thought M’s would draft him 2nd, Tulowitzki was favorite until M’s picked Jeff Clement, everyone was shocked that M’s selected Danny Hultzen over Rendon in 2011). I know it’s a silly exercise because the draft is a crapshot, but God, Mariners.

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Who’s to say Trout, Tulowitzki, and Rendon become what they are if they get drafted by a different team?

10:54
Jeff Sullivan: Player development is a pretty huge unknown to us

10:55
Comment From Dave
What’s the cubs true talent level right now? 65 wins?

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: 70ish? So not far off

10:55
Comment From Sean
Am I the only one who thought the broadcast of last night’s derby was exceptionally bad? The camera work as bad – they kept using a behind-the-catcher view instead of the traditional look and the traditional look (behind the pitcher) was clearly off as well. The cameras missed at least three home runs as well as several other swings. They didn’t have the projected numbers running for the first hour. Everything seemed wrong with the broadcast.

10:55
Jeff Sullivan: Finding a way to make the home run derby somehow even less watchable

10:55
Comment From Max Fisher Players
So what kinda pitchers will typically have a below league average BABIP, I know knuckle ballers were mentioned

10:56
Jeff Sullivan: Fly balls pitchers, guys who work up in the zone, pitchers in front of good defenses (obviously)

10:57
Comment From Rated Rookie
Is command/control the last pitching skill to develop in part because MiLB hitters are more inclined to swing at *everything* than MLB hitters are?

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: If the assertion is true, it’s probably just because that requires such mechanical consistency, and it’s easy to slip up. You need to be more fine to develop good command than you need to be to get movement on a new curveball or changeup. But I wonder if the last skill to develop is command, or pitch-sequencing know-how

10:58
Comment From Dave
why didnt the A’s just keep russell and promote him now to solve their middle infield problem and not send guys like pomeranz to minors? Samardzija and Hammel just dont seem like that big of an upgrade to me

10:58
Jeff Sullivan: Russell doesn’t even have 100 plate appearances above Single-A

10:59
Comment From fan
If the Rangers decide to rebuild, would they keep Darvish? Extremely team friendly contract for a fairly young pitcher, plus they also dropped that massive posting fee…

10:59
Jeff Sullivan: Darvish is so good and so affordable that I don’t think he’d end up on the block. But he could bring them back a massive massive haul

11:00
Comment From StephenE
What’s your favorite allstar game moment?

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: Ichiro’s inside-the-park homer

11:00
Jeff Sullivan: (I don’t usually watch the All-Star Game)

11:01
Comment From Andr
You mentioned last week that you and a friend were attacked by golden eagles about a month before. Story time? How did you survive a golden eagle? Maybe you can relate this to baseball some how and make it a post

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Be careful when you’re hanging out on top of giant cliffs. Golden eagles like to nest within giant cliffs and they’re a wee bit territorial

11:01
Comment From Steve
Sandoval’s a FA, can Posey be an avg 3B defensively?

11:01
Jeff Sullivan: Probably yeah

11:02
Comment From Jon
Similar note, how is Jordan Walden allowed to jump off the rubber and throw a pitch from 55 feet away? Its a clear rules violation. What if someone developed a delivery in which they got a running start, jumped from the rubber and then threw from about 50 feet away?

11:02
Jeff Sullivan: No one actually pitches from the rubber. Walden just has an unusual way of removing himself from it

11:03
Comment From Bryce Harpers uncle
Arrieta a No. 2, that’s not bad. Shark is probably a No. 2 also and not a true ace, right?

11:03
Jeff Sullivan: Samardzija’s another step away from being an ace. Not at all sure he ever gets there

11:03
Comment From Jimmy
Keuchel has started looking shaky over his last few starts. Do you think he’s coming back to reality, or does he bounce back strong in the second half?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: Part regression, part dealing with a wrist issue

11:04
Comment From Klatzy
Is Dustin Ackley a case study in “weak contact” and where contact rate, swing percentage, BABI, LD% don’t give you enough information?

11:04
Jeff Sullivan: That works for me!

11:04
Comment From Andy
Can Kole Calhoun keep this up, or do you expect a regression?

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: He’s a really neat player. I don’t think he’s quite this good, but I think you are looking at a 120 wRC+ everyday outfielder

11:05
Comment From Jeff Luhnow
Why is the media making me out to be a villain when I am just taking advantage of the system and using my leverage properly? Any intelligent and crafty person would do the same. Big buisness does it everyday and we just accept it as buisness.

11:05
Jeff Sullivan: People are already biased against the Astros’ way so this fits into the impersonal narrative

11:06
Comment From Michael
Which year is the earliest you could imagine the 12 second rule actually being enforced?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: I don’t think it happens. And I don’t think there are even that many egregious violations, based on the letter of the law. It’s not just about 12 seconds between pitches — it’s 12 seconds between pitches, when the batter is ready and the pitcher is ready and there’s nobody on base

11:06
Comment From Phillies113
Is baseball dying?

11:06
Jeff Sullivan: Everything is dying

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: All right, I gotta be on my way!

11:07
Jeff Sullivan: Thank you everybody for hanging out, and I’m sorry for what I didn’t or couldn’t address. We’ll do it again next week at the same time, and until then, be well and have great days

We hoped you liked reading Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 7/15/14 by Jeff Sullivan!

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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.

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Quick Quiz
Guest
Quick Quiz

Who has done the traditional/saber double-double over the past 30 days by leading the NL in both RBI and WAR?

Art Vandelay
Guest
Art Vandelay

Over the last 30? I would say Billy Hamilton.

Art Vandelay
Guest
Art Vandelay

or Cutch

Quick Quiz
Guest
Quick Quiz

Billy Hamilton is correct. Take a bow Art!